You became an entrepreneur with the hope of starting a business that would help lots of people, and eventually give you freedom to live life on your terms. Like most entrepreneurs, you realize how flexible your life becomes when you're no longer bound to a traditional 9 to 5.
But no one prepared you for the realities of working long days and even longer nights. Furthermore, no one warned you about the various financial, legal, or operational complexities of running and growing a business.
You've got the vision for growth, but you lack the capacity.
Now is the time to take your business and your life back!
Building capacity in your business is the missing ingredient to achieving a healthy work-life balance.
Capacity is the amount that something can produce. Therefore, if you want your business to produce more it must increase its capacity to do so. Sounds easy enough right? Just hire a few more folks and all is well. Ah, if only it were truly that easy.
The first step in growing your capacity is making your mind up that you actually WANT to grow. That may sound odd because you may think that every business wants growth, but that is not always the case. Some "solopreneurs" simply start a business so they can have a source of income to pay their bills doing something that they love. There is nothing wrong with that.
Growing something means to actively pursue new areas of discomfort for the entrepreneur. It doesn't have to be painful, however it is most certainly uncomfortable because you are purposely pursuing new areas, delegating, hiring and managing in new ways.
A successful business will grow many times due to the quality of work being performed.
Without much marketing effort, referrals will pour in and once the solopreneur has reached capacity they are faced with a choice:
Turn down business.
Increase capacity to handle the new work.
If you choose to increase capacity there are many options ranging from short term to long term along with increased cost to your business.
Hire, Outsource, or Freelance? The most valuable asset you have to give is your time. You can increase your capacity by simply having more people to perform daily tasks which will free your time while producing more for your business. Hiring - This is a huge milestone for a young company that can be the most rewarding and challenging of the three options. The federal and state laws you have to follow can be tricky but must be adhered to without exception. Healthcare, Employee Labor Laws, and Fair Wages are only a few new areas you will need to familiarize yourself.
On top of that, you will need to take time to train your new employee which is an area that most entrepreneurs underestimate from a time perspective. (Check out this guide by the SBA for more detail) Outsource - Outsourcing parts or all of your work may be the fastest, easiest, but most expensive of the choices. On one hand you are hiring a firm (or firms) that specialize in exactly what you need and may be able to do it better!
Training time is dramatically decreased and you now have experts who can actually help grow your business in new and exciting ways. However, finding good, honest partners who can deliver consistently can be difficult. Furthermore your revenue must cover the cost of outsourcing while the business maintains a healthy profit. (Flow offers a full array of flexible outsourcing services) Freelance - Freelancing may be the perfect blend of hiring and outsourcing. Using this strategy to increase capacity means that you find an individual (not a firm like outsourcing) that will complete a certain task or project for which they are an expert. For example, many small companies will find a good Bookkeeping Freelancer or maybe a Social Media expert. This allows you to delegate time consuming but important tasks at a lower cost.
A challenge can become managing several freelancers (many you may never meet in person), and trusting they will perform according to your standards. The upside is you now have more free time to take on more work for new clients. (Fiverr and Upwork are two popular Freelance sites)
To learn more about how Flow can help your business achieve Agile Growth,